Entertainment

Paul Allen’s Holodome, a shared immersive reality experience, ends year-long run at Seattle’s MoPOP

Holodome has left the building.

Paul Allen’s vision for shared immersive, 360-degree reality without the use of a VR headset has ended its run at the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle after a year. A product of the late Microsoft co-founder’s Vulcan Inc., Holodome attracted more than 38,000 visitors inside its spherical walls to take in content and technology offering cutting-edge sound and visuals.

MoPOP, also a product of Allen’s creative vision, tweeted a thanks at the end of April to all who explored other worlds in Holodome.

Thanks to all that witnessed the birth of a star and explored other worlds in the #Holodome. The experience is now closed, but stay tuned for the next adventure.

“Songs of Infinity” from @VulcanFilms @KaleidoVR @JuVeeProds and presented by Protozoa Pictures. pic.twitter.com/iKOT3CVqDf

— MoPOP Seattle (@MoPOPSeattle) April 30, 2019

In a visit to MoPOP last weekend, GeekWire contributor Frank Catalano noticed that the exhibit staging area appeared to be mostly cleared out, with just a few props remaining. But a billboard outside the museum had yet to be replaced.

Representatives for Vulcan told GeekWire on Tuesday that Holodome was engaged for a limited run at MoPOP, and was extended past the original end date of January. There were no updates on what’s next or where the dome might show up again for public use.

Holodome progressed beyond its original video offerings, which included the experiences “Death Planet Rescue,” “Justin Timberlake’s Montana,” and “Seattle Seahawks: Art of the Play,” to offer an interactive element this spring when it introduced a shared first-person-shooter game called “Dome of the Dead.” The 10-minute game allowed multiple players to engage the action around them, rather than passively take it all in.

Beyond content, the structure and tech have also been evolving physically, through work being done at a Vulcan space in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood. An iteration featuring a larger dome, new entryway and vibrating floor was taken on the road in mid April for a public display at TED 2019 in Vancouver, B.C.

The hope has been that Holodome will attract the partners needed to bring the experience to customers in settings such as arcades, theme parks, stadiums and elsewhere.

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